License Plate Bird House

Herm Fitz Style

Directions for Use

This Bird House, with a 1 ½" diameter entrance hole, is designed for swallows or Western bluebirds, although winter wrens have successfully nested in it. It is custom made so that the license plate just fits as the roof. A convenient dowel perch is on the front just below the entrance hole, and just inside, a little below the entrance hole is a small shelf perch so that the young birds may sit and look out while they are growing, waiting to fledge.

Hanging Your License Plate Bird House
The house may be hung on a branch in a tree simply by inserting one end of the specially bent copper wire into the small hole at the peak of the back side, then bringing the copper wire over the branch, and inserting the other end of the copper wire into the corresponding hole at the peak of the front side. That's all there is to it!

Your house should be hung facing an open meadow or pasture. If you want to attract swallows, hang your house about 12 feet off the ground, or even higher. But if you would like to attract Western bluebirds, you should hang your house maybe 6 feet off the ground, as they seem to like their houses a bit lower. Winter wrens prefer deep woods, so if you have a shady forest, hang your house just about anywhere and you may get some winter wrens.

Care, Cleaning, and Storage of Your License Plate Bird House
Your license plate bird house should be cleaned following each nesting season to get it ready for the next spring. Simply take down your house by pulling the copper wire out of the front peak hole and lifting the wire over the branch. Then, using a ¼" socket, box end wrench or small crescent wrench, remove the 4 roofing screws. This allows you to lift off the license plate roof. Remember which way it was put on, as the four holes may not be exactly spaced to allow both possible orientations of the plate.

Clean out the house and throw away the old nest and all debris - feathers, poop, sticks, etc. Wash the house with soapy water and dry thoroughly. Spray the inside with WD-40, especially the cracks and seams. This will keep tiny bird parasites away. Put cedar shavings or swadust in the bottom about ½" deep as a start for the next nest. Then hang your house in a warm, dry place for the winter. Be sure to get your house hung out in spring before the birds arrive back from their wintering place - usually in March.

An alternative: after cleaning, hang it back out in the tree and some birds may find it a handy place to roost during the cold times of winter.


Eric D. Hendrickson
Last modified: Mon Feb 4 09:18:05 CST 2002